PANAMA CITY, Panama, August 30, 2011 – The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) renewed their partnership today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

First signed in 2009, the MOU, which is renewable for five years, seals both entities’ commitment to economic growth and best customer practices. It also strives to promote the “All-Water Route,” a shipping route from Asia to the U.S. East Coast via the Panama Canal.

“Our partnership highlights our dedication to providing growth solutions for the shipping industry,” said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta. “With the Panama Canal expansion well underway, we look forward to pursuing more mutually beneficial opportunities with the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.”

Under the agreement, ACP and PRPA will conduct joint activities and share best practices. Specific areas of focus will include marketing, research and data interchange, technical advancements and personnel training programs.

In 2010, the Port of Philadelphia handled 3,644,919 metric tons of cargo-a 17% increase from 2009. The Port is responsible for thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the Philadelphia area and throughout Pennsylvania. Further growth is anticipated when the Panama Canal expansion is completed in 2014.

“The renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Panama Canal Authority and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority reinforces an already complimentary and mutually beneficial relationship,” said PRPA Chairman Charles G. Kopp, Esq.  “While we strive to deepen the Delaware River to 45 feet to facilitate larger vessels at the Port of Philadelphia, the current expansion of the Panama Canal will ultimately help bring about the same result.  Our two initiatives, once completed, will increase ship traffic, jobs and other economic benefits at both our port and in Panama.  To that end, I’m extremely happy to renew our fraternal and business-oriented partnership as both authorities work to enhance their respective missions.”

PRPA is supporting a large-scale investment to deepen the Delaware River Main Channel from 40 feet to 45 feet. Green-lit by the United States District Court for the District of Delaware in January 2010, the deepening is projected to directly create more than 8,000 new jobs and is critical to the Philadelphia-area ports’ future economic prospects.

Meanwhile, the Canal’s expansion is on schedule, following the recent commencement of the permanent concrete work for the new locks. The $5.25 billion project includes the construction of a new set of locks that will allow the transit of longer and wider ships.

About the Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
The ACP is the autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the ACP is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please visit http://www.pancanal.com/. You can also follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/thepanamacanal.

About the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority
The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority is an independent agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania charged with the management, maintenance, marketing, and promotion of publicly owned port facilities along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, as well as strategic planning in the port district.  PRPA works with its terminal operators to modernize, expand, and improve its facilities, and to market those facilities to prospective port users.  Port cargoes and the activities they generate are responsible for thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the Philadelphia area and throughout Pennsylvania, as well as numerous other economic benefits.